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New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2018) #37!

It’s time for the latest Scannain podcast!

This week, I join Jason Coyle, Ronan Doyle and Graham Day to discuss the week in film. As usual, we talk about the top ten and the new releases, as well as what we’ve watched this week. In this episode, Graham gives us a peak at upcoming cinematic delights including First Man and Mandy, Ronan discusses the underrated emotional appeal of Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again, and Jay expounds upon his controversial “automatic four star film theory” as it relates to directors like Jeremy Saulnier and S. Craig Zahler.

We also talk about the best ways to celebrate a cinematic Halloween in Dublin, looking at both the Season of the Witch at the Lighthouse and the Horrorthon at the IFI, discuss the recently scheduled release date of The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid, and the revelation that Russian bots have been stirring dissent around Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.

The top ten:

  1. The Little Stranger
  2. Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation
  3. Mile 22
  4. Christopher Robin
  5. The Nun
  6. Crazy Rich Asians
  7. A Simple Favour
  8. Black ’47
  9. The House With A Clock In Its Walls
  10. Night School

New releases:

You can download the episode here, or listen to it below.

Tony Scott, R.I.P.

One of the downsides to running a blog the way that I run a blog is that I don’t always have the opportunity to respond to news as it breaks. As such, in writing about the passing of director Tony Scott, pretty much everything that I would say has been said by the time I can publish this, and far more eloquently than I could ever hope to say it. Obviously, I never knew Tony Scott personally, so I won’t comment on the man himself – although the tributes from those who did know him are deeply moving. I knew Tony Scott as countless film fans knew the director, through his work. And that work meant a lot to me.

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Non-Review Review: Unstoppable

I guess I’ve kinda marked Tony Scott as a more talented Michael Bay, in that he’s a director who manages all the tense and superficial elements of his action films particularly well, but that he also a strong eye for dramatic talent and seems to work much better with his leads – or, at least, draw stronger performances from them – than Bay. I was kinda thinking that as I was watching Unstoppable, pondering how Bay’s fascination with physical objects and explosions could have turned the film into a nigh-impossible mess, as the movie is literally based around the idea of a runaway train. Scott can’t quite find the human drama at the core of the story he’s telling, but he does try. And I think that effort alone makes the film watchable, if not remarkable.

Train-ing Day...

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Non-Review Review: Enemy of the State

I have a soft spot for Enemy of the State, I must confess. Perhaps it’s the opportunity to see Will Smith in a great leading role, perhaps it’s the fact that this is one of those movies that actually became far more relevant after its release, or perhaps it’s the superb ensemble assembled by Tony Scott. I don’t know, I think it’s a lot of those things together, but – along with Scott’s superb Crimson Tide – I think that Enemy of the State can easily be considered one of the best things that Jerry Bruckheimer ever put his name too.

Brill dishes the dirt...

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Non-Review Review: Crimson Tide

I love Crimson Tide. It comes from a time when, through my nostalgic eyes, Tony Scott could do no wrong. This was the nineties, when Scott was after directing the under-rated True Romance and on his way to helming the solidly entertaining Enemy of the State. Sure, there was also The Fan in there, but we really don’t talk about that. Part of the appeal of Crimson tide, beyond it’s wonderfully powerful basic premise, is the fact that concept could work as either a powerful Aaron Sorkin stage play, or as a bombastic Michael Bay production – the set-up is such that either approach is possible with the material. Scott manages to straddle the middle, offering a tense action thriller which isn’t afraid to ask a few probing questions about the nature of the chain of command and the morality of blinding following orders.

It's long and hard and... ugh, you get it...

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Non-Review Review: True Romance

True Romance is one of those films I’m surprised never found a stronger audience, even retroactively. It features a screenplay from Quentin Tarantino which really put the future director on the map, but it also features a huge number of pre-stardom appearances from actors as diverse as James Gandolfini, Brad Pitt and Chris Penn. The movie holds together fantastically, but perhaps it works better as a collection of scenes than as a fully-realised movie – but, when the scenes are this good, that’s not necessarily a heavy criticism.

It's Whirley ride...

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Meme of the Moment: Cinema Code of Conduct

Note: You can find the full list of participating blogs here. Kudos to all involved, and especially to CinemaScream for putting it together.

I feel somewhat humbled to open this post with an admission of a breach of blogging etiquette. Those who frequent the site might have noticed that I have been somewhat absent from the blogging world in the past few months – my postings are sporadic, cobbled together from a car ride or bus ride on an iPhone screen. I won’t dare to make a series of excuses about how things have gone upside down of late, or make reference to increasing commitments. We all have those, and yet most manage it far better. Anyway, I owe a sincere apology to CinemaScream – I agreed to take part in this rather ingenious (and thoroughly practical) meme, but it completely slipped my mind. So this post is somewhat more haphazard than usual. But only somewhat.

Basically, the Cinema Code of Conduct (as proposed by Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo) is intended to make going to the cinema a far more pleasant experience for those involved. In this era of mobile phones and iPods and such, it’s a rather wonderful idea to attempt to codify the behaviour that should be considered acceptable in modern cinemas. I really wish that a few major chains would consciously publicise the list to promote it among movie-goers. The ten items, included below, are not excessively harsh or intrusive – they are in fact relatively minor things which, if everybody did them, would make going to the cinema a much more enjoyable experience.

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